Hackenberg, Penn State hold off Syracuse

  • Posted: Sunday, September 1, 2013 12:42 a.m.
Syracuse quarterback Drew Allen (8) is sacked by Penn State defensive tackle  DaQuan Jones during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. Penn State won 23-17. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Syracuse quarterback Drew Allen (8) is sacked by Penn State defensive tackle DaQuan Jones during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. Penn State won 23-17. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

PENN STATE 23, SYRACUSE 17

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Christian Hackenberg threw two touchdown passes in his first college game and the freshman led Penn State to 23-17 victory against Syracuse on Saturday.

Hackenberg went 22 for 31 for 278 yards with two interceptions and became the second freshman to start a Penn State opener at quarterback since 1910.

The 18-year-old blue chip recruit hit Eugene Lewis with a deep pass down the middle and the receiver reached into the end zone for a 54-yard score that made it 23-10 with 11:39 left in the fourth quarter. Hackenberg also hooked up with Allen Robinson on a 51-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Robinson, Penn State’s leading receiver last season, unexpectedly did not play in the first half, but finished with seven catches for 133 yards.

Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen got the start at quarterback for new Syracuse coach Scott Shafer, and finished 16 for 37 for 189 yards.

BOSTON COLLEGE 24, VILLANOVA 14

BOSTON — Boston College gave new coach Steve Addazio the victory he was hoping for and plenty of things for him to yell about during the week.

“I just wanted to have some good moments happen for the team. They came off a very disappointing season,” Addazio said after the Eagles overcame a slow start to beat Villanova 24-14 on Saturday. “We have a lot of work to do. We know what we’ve got ahead of us.”

Alex Amidon had 13 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown, and Chase Retting completed 23 of 30 passes for 285 yards and two TDs for BC. Andre Williams ran for 114 yards on 23 carries for the Eagles (1-0).

BC lost its last four games last season to finish with double-digits in losses for just the second time in school history. Coach Frank Spaziani was fired, and Addazio was brought up from Temple to turn things around.

It took a half longer than expected.

John Robertson ran for 94 yards and passed for 158 more for Villanova (0-1). Jamal Abdur-Rahman caught one TD pass and had a 47-yard touchdown run on a fake punt on the game’s opening drive. The Wildcats, a top 10 team in the Football Championship Subdivision, also led 14-7 before Boston College scored the next 17 points.

MARYLAND 43, FIU 10

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — C.J. Brown celebrated his return from injury with a marvelous performance, throwing for three touchdowns and running for two scores to lead Maryland over Florida International 43-10 Saturday.

Brown missed all of last year after tearing his left ACL in preseason practice. The senior made up for lost time during a torrid first half, completing 15 of 16 passes and running for 99 yards to help the Terrapins (1-0) go up 40-10.

Brown finished 20 for 23 for 281 yards passing and ran for 105 yards on 11 carries before being removed in the third quarter. His touchdown runs were 29 and 11 yards, and he threw for scores of 25, 17 and 66 yards.

Playing its first game under coach Ron Turner, Florida International (0-1) gave up 399 yards before halftime and managed only 59 yards and three first downs over the opening 30 minutes.

Panthers quarterback Jake Medlock went 5 for 15 for 26 yards before Turner mercifully took him out of the game in the third quarter.

Coming off a 4-8 season that ended with six straight defeats,

N.C. STATE 40, LOUISIANA TECH 14

RALEIGH, N.C. — Freshman Matt Dayes ran for 84 yards and three touchdowns to help North Carolina State beat Louisiana Tech 40-14 on Saturday in its first game under coach Dave Doeren.

Tony Creecy also scored for the Wolfpack (1-0), who scored the first 24 points with Doeren’s no-huddle offense and led comfortably all afternoon.

Still, an early left foot injury to starting quarterback Brandon Mitchell put a damper on the afternoon. Mitchell, who beat out Pete Thomas for the job during training camp, broke a bone in his foot after directing N.C. State to touchdowns on its first two possessions.

Mitchell left midway through the opening quarter, then returned to the sideline late in the half on crutches and wearing a protective boot. Doeren said Mitchell could miss 4-6 weeks and will have surgery Sunday.

Kenneth Dixon ran for 118 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs (0-1), who lost their first game under coach Skip Holtz.

Thomas threw for 212 yards on 15-for-27 passing after Mitchell’s injury,

DUKE 45, N.C. CENTRAL 0

DURHAM, N.C. — Brandon Connette threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and Duke earned its first shutout in 24 years with a season-opening 45-0 rout of North Carolina Central on Saturday.

Jamison Crowder returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown, starting QB Anthony Boone had a 1-yard touchdown run and Jela Duncan added a 3-yard scoring run.

Connette -- his backup and short-yardage specialist -- ran 1 yard for a touchdown, threw an early 3-yard TD pass to Braxton Deaver and added a late 19-yard scoring pass to Isaac Blakeney.

Duke led 28-0 before N.C. Central crossed midfield, scoring touchdowns four straight times it touched the ball while cruising to its most lopsided victory under sixth-year coach David Cutcliffe.

The Blue Devils outgained the Eagles 488-184 in their first shutout since Steve Spurrier’s final Duke team blanked rival North Carolina 41-0 in 1989.

VIRGINIA 19, BYU 16

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Kevin Parks ran 13 yards for a touchdown with 2:36 to play Saturday night and Virginia beat BYU 19-16 in a wild season-opener that had a 2-hour weather delay.

Parks’ run came one play after Anthony Harris intercepted a tipped pass from Taysom Hill and then flipped the ball to teammate Henry Coley, who was running alongside and carried it to the 13.

BYU got the ball back and drove quickly from its 8 to its 41, but Hill threw four consecutive incompletions, badly overthrowing his receiver on the final one, and the Cavaliers held on.

Only minutes earlier, Hill seemed like the hero when he dove one yard for a go-ahead touchdown, capping a 92-yard, 11-play drive against a new-look Virginia defense that had been solid.

Jamaal Williams gained 144 yards on 33 carries for BYU while Hill was 13 for 40 for 175 yards with an interception.

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